Sometimes in our efforts to do better with our finances, it can start to feel like all you’re ever trying to do is “save your money”. Whether it’s for a major purchase (such as a down payment on a house), your retirement, or even just an extra stash for rainy day emergencies, there’s never a shortage of reasons to be more frugal and hold on to as much of your income as possible.
However, if you’ve ever heard someone say “you can’t take it with you”, there’s an element of truth to that statement. What’s the point of saving all that money if you’re not going to enjoy it someday?
Spending money doesn’t necessarily always mean you’re frivolously buying luxury items or being selfish. In fact, there are some very mature and selfless things to buy that would be wise purchases. In this post, I’d like to explore three good reasons why you should spend your money and how they can bring value to your life.
1. Creating Experiences
When you think back to times in your life when you had the most fun or enjoyable memories, what were you doing?
- Buying a material possession?
- Going someplace new and spending time with your family and friends?
If you’re like most people, the best times in your life will be when you were having fun with the people you love. And research shows this is true.
According to Elizabeth Dunn, PhD and author of the book “Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending”, “People get more happiness out of buying experiences rather than material things. Experiences tend to be more tightly connected to our sense of self.”
This makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Most material things are fun at first but will quickly lose their luster, no matter how much they cost.
Take an expensive vehicle, for instance. You might turn some heads or get a kick out of how quickly it can accelerate. But after a while, a car becomes a car. It gets absorbed in your routine. And the more familiar it becomes, the more we start to take it for granted.
However, experiences are different. Experiences can challenge who we are and what we’re capable of. We might go places, eat new foods, and try new activities that we would have never done before. It can get your adrenaline pumping and make you feel alive, more so than any material thing can.
This is especially true when you get the opportunity to share it with others. Not only can they help draw you out of your shell, but these experiences help you bond with others in ways that other people never will. Those are times in your life that will be priceless!
2. Buying Back Your Time
Do you ever feel like there’s never enough time? Perhaps you’re running from your job to an errand and then off to an event for your children. Or maybe your weekends are jammed back with jobs around the house that you couldn’t do throughout the week like cleaning and lawn care.
Either way, too much hustle can get pretty frustrating. And before long it can leave you feeling like there’s not enough time to do the things you really want to. This is where your money can help.
As the ancient Greek philosopher, Theophrastus once said “Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.”
What did he mean by this? Think about the value of the things you do and ask yourself: Is this the best use of my time?
For example, what if:
- What if instead of cleaning your house, you paid someone else to do it for you?
- What if instead of mowing your lawn, you hired the neighbor kid or lawn service?
- What if instead of trying to fix something at your house, you paid a professional to do it for you?
Yes, all of these things will cost you money. But that’s the trade-off. If you value your time and what you do with it more than money, then perhaps it’s money well spent.
In many ways, this is also how you could look at retirement. Retirement planning is really the ultimate buyback of your time. The sooner you save up a sizeable nest egg, the sooner you can afford to quit your job, live off of your savings, and spend your time however you please. For many people, that means the difference between working until the end or living out their days pursuing their interests and spending time with loved ones. That’s an incredible use of your money.
3. Making Life Better for Others
It’s often been said that success isn’t about how much money you make. It’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.
One of the greatest things we can do to give our lives meaning is to use our resources to promote the well-being of others. And using our money to accomplish this is certainly one of those ways.
You don’t need to be as rich as Bill Gates and or try to take on all of the worlds’ problems by yourself. Doing something as simple as donating a few bucks can make all of the difference.
For example, if you really want to make the holidays special for a complete stranger, go to your local church or community center and ask if you can adopt a family. This is a program where you anonymously buy presents for a family in need.
Doing this accomplishes so many things. Not only are you making that special time of the year extra special for someone who really needs it, but it also teaches you to appreciate who you are and what you’ve been blessed with.
If you’d like to start setting aside some money for this cause or any of the other ones we mentioned in this article, then the best way to do this is to work it into your budget. After all, a budget is really nothing more than an organized plan for spending your money, and an app such as Buxfer can help you with this.
With Buxfer, you determine where you want your money to go and what you want to spend it on. From there, Buxfer keeps track of your purchases and automatically updates your budget based on real-time data from all your banks and credit cards.
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